Study abroad can be a life-changing experience, but it is not one that happens without significant effort. Below are resources that will help you plan and several forms that are required to participate in NMU study abroad. You will note that there are several university policies that students must adhere to when doing study abroad, which are outlined in the resources below. These policies are in place to help make your study abroad experience a safe and exciting one. Please review each of the following carefully and complete are the required forms by their specified deadlines.

  • Students who study abroad and are enrolled in courses approved for credit at NMU may be considered for financial aid provided all other eligibility requirements are met.
  • Most NMU students will use available federal, state, and university funds to help pay for the costs of study abroad. Many will require additional loans and support from personal resources. All forms of federal aid may be applied toward a NMU study abroad program.
  • There are restrictions on some state and institutional aid if you choose to enroll in a non-NMU program. 
  • State aid would include the Michigan Competitive Scholarship, Michigan Indian Tuition Waiver and the Tuition Incentive Program. Institutional aid would include NMU Foundation awards, awards based on academic achievement, the faculty/staff dependent/spouse tuition benefit and other funds that may have been granted to you directly by NMU.
  • Students are not eligible to receive the housing portion of any university scholarships for the semester(s) they are studying abroad. It is meant for students living in our residence halls. The exception to this is for students receiving the Presidential or Harden Scholarships. They are eligible to receive the off-campus amount, if they have chosen a NMU program.
  • If you are uncertain which types of aid you receive, check with the Financial Aid Office. 
  • Be sure to check with IPO about current NMU Foundation scholarships available to study abroad students! And keep in mind that your program may also have scholarship funds available.

Please remember…

  • If you plan to use need-based financial aid toward your study abroad costs, you will need to complete the FAFSA.
  • Visit our office to have a Cost Worksheet created for you by an adviser. Costs associated with your study abroad program must be backed up with printed materials which document the source for each item.  Some items on the cost worksheet that do not need to be documented are U.S. Passport, International Student ID Card, and the suggested personal spending allowance. It is agreed between the International Programs Office and the Financial Aid Office that we use $100 per week for personal spending as a standard recommended amount, but it can be increased if the student can provide something in writing from the program saying it should be higher. A study abroad adviser must review and sign your completed cost worksheet.
  • Questions? Schedule an appointment with a financial aid officer (906-227-2327). The financial aid officer will work with you to determine eligibility and discuss funding options.

NMU values the academic experience that forms the basis of your study abroad program.  You will not be registered in NMU study abroad credits or receive direct academic credit for your program course selections unless you complete the credit pre-evaluation process prior to the study abroad.   If you do not register for study abroad credits (IP286x) using the process outlined below, your credits may not apply as direct credit, and you will be required to pay a fee for evaluation as transfer credit by an outside international credit evaluation agency identified by the International Programs office. 

Select the course(s) you will take abroad.  You may want to have up to 3 or 4 additional courses evaluated in the event that your selections are not offered, or a course is canceled on-site after your program begins.

Request or download the syllabus and/or course descriptions from the program site or university website.  Include contact hours or other information provided by the program host concerning how often the class meets, recommended US equivalents
for semester credits, etc.   

Write the name of each individual course you will take abroad in the left hand-column of the form.  Take the form and course descriptions to the appropriate department head for their review.  The department head must review course content and assign and appropriate NMU equivalent course number, determining whether it will be the equivalent of a course in the academic major or minor, an elective, or a special topics course.  Academic advisors and other NMU faculty may have input and offer advice on course selections, but they are not authorized to assign course pre-evaluations for study abroad credit.  The form must be completed with signatures from the department head(s). 

Return the completed form, with signatures to the International Programs office.  The study abroad coordinator(s) will use this form to register you in an appropriate number of IP286x credits during the semester of your study abroad.  The IP286x course designation will be replaced by individual courses upon receipt of the study abroad transcript when coursework is assessed against the original pre-evaluation form and grades assigned by the NMU department heads who originally evaluated the academic work.

The pre-evaluation form is not a contract.   Final grades and credits are assigned based on the transcript received from the host institution upon successful completion of the study abroad. If course content changes, or your registration abroad differs from those courses that were originally pre-evaluated, you must work with the IPO and academic department heads during your time abroad to complete the evaluation process before your transcript is finalized at NMU.   Note that in compliance with US Department of Education standards, NMU will note the institution/location of your study abroad experience on the transcript heading for your semester abroad.  For example, for courses earned at the University of Veritas, San Jose, Costa Rica the NMU transcript for your semester will include a phrase:  SA - Study Abroad, San Jose, Costa Rica.  

Additional factors:

  • Requests for liberal studies credit must be presented to the Registrar prior to your study abroad.
  • World culture courses have specific content requirements.The Registrar’s Office will consider requests for world culture designation.
  • Language courses often require a placement exam on-site.  
  • Course substitutions for major or minor credit may be considered at the discretion of the individual academic departments.
  • NMU awards letter grades for study abroad courses.Your grades will be calculated into your cumulative GPA. 
  • We suggest you keep copies of papers, exams and other course materials that demonstrate the content of your study abroad courses.
  • Host university transcripts must be sent to International Programs to begin the transfer of credit to your NMU record.  .   
  • In some circumstances, directed study credits may be applied toward international experiences abroad.   The student must still register the overseas experience with the International Programs office in order to receive credit for the experience and to comply with the university's policy on International Travel Registration for university-funded travel.  
  • You remain registered as an NMU student throughout your study abroad experiences.You are responsible for observing on-campus deadlines for tuition and course registration, as well as those required by your host program/university

All Northern Michigan University study abroad students are encouraged to maintain adequate international insurance coverage during the period of the time abroad. You are also strongly encouraged to maintain adequate domestic insurance.  Your health and safety are very important.

  • We strongly recommend that you have a thorough medical and dental examination prior to your departure for your study abroad program.
  • Make a list of your current health care insurance coverage.
  • The overseas coverage provided by your study abroad program is often secondary coverage and does not replace your primary domestic insurance plan. We strongly recommend that you maintain U.S. domestic coverage for the duration of your study abroad program. 
  • After reviewing your coverage, if you feel you are not adequately protected, you may wish to invest in a supplemental plan. NMU partners with HTH Worldwide and students can request to receive coverage by contacting Susan Morgan.
International Student I.D. Card (ISIC)

Some students benefit from discounted prices when traveling, especially in Europe. Your NMU Wildcat Express I.D. may not be accepted as valid proof of student status in most other countries. That’s where an ISIC can come in handy. The ISIC carries basic sickness and accident insurance, including minimal emergency evacuation coverage, [plus access to a 24/7 traveler assistance hotline in case of medical, legal or financial emergency. The ISIC can be purchased at cost in International Programs during normal business hours.  To find out more, go to:  

Making sure you obtain and have a valid passport book for the duration of your trip is an important first step.  If you do not yet have a passport but are committed to a program, make sure to apply for a passport immediately.  If you already have a passport – regardless of your country of citizenship – review the expiration date to ensure you do not need to renew.  Your passport must be valid at least six months after the end date of your program.  All passport application forms and information about required documents for U.S. Citizens can be obtained from the U.S. Department of State website.  Standard processing for all passport applications is 6-8 weeks.  Therefore, getting started earlier is to your advantage.

New Applicants
Please note that you may fill out the application form in advance, but do not sign until you are submitting the form in the presence of an authorized official.  First-time passport applicants will also need to submit evident of their U.S. citizenship, such as a birth certificate.  Additionally, all applicants for a passport will need to submit up-to-date standard passport photo.  Typically these can be taken at the Walgreens or UPS Store in Statesboro.  New passport applicants must submit their application at a Passport Acceptance Facility.  In Statesboro, this is the Bulloch County Clerk of Courts.  You should bring your passport application, passport photo, required documents, drivers license or government issued ID, necessary photocopies, and method of payment.  A notary public will review your application and provide you with permission to sign the application form.

If you are still in possession of your most recent U.S. passport, you may renew by mail.  Students should complete and sign the proper application form, and send the signed application, new passport photo, method of payment, and your most recent U.S. passport to the National Passport Processing Center.

For questions and assistance, please visit the Office of International Programs & Services.

Already abroad and need passport help?  Lost or stolen passports should be reported immediately.  Contact the Consular Section your closest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for U.S. Citizen Services, and notify the International Education Services Office.

The following list outlines the basic steps of preparing for your NMU study abroad.  

  • Notify International Programs that you have been formally admitted to your selected study abroad program.
  • Complete all forms and procedures required by the program sponsor.
  • Obtain a valid passport or check expiration dates and regulations concerning your current passport.  For information about U.S. passports, consult the U.S. State Department travel Web site:
  • Purchase your airline ticket(s) and other ground transportation.
  • Research visa requirements of your host country and begin the application process.  
  • Choose your study abroad courses and complete the study abroad course pre-evaluation form with signatures from NMU academic department heads.
  • Meet with your study abroad adviser to complete a cost-of-attendance worksheet.   Schedule appointment with Financial Aid office to discuss eligibliity.
  • Research and apply for scholarships and grants. 
  • Schedule a travel health appointment with the NMU Health Center or with your personal physician.
  • Obtain health and travel insurance designed for study abroad. Most programs include coverage in their fee. If your program does not,tThe International Programs office can help you arrange comprehensive international health insurance through its contract with HTH Worldwide, a leader in study abroad coverage.
  • Understand NMU mobile device regulations for study abroad and arrange for any returns or repairs prior to your departure.
  • Prepare to understand your host country – its customs, news, political structure, art, religions.  
  • Complete the following forms required prior to your departure:
    • Power of Attorney form (required if you use financial aid)
    • Student Statement of Rights and Responsibilities
    • NMU Media Release form
    • Pre-departure emergency information form
    • Scan of your passport photo page and any related visa pages
  • Register your presence in the host country on the U.S. State Department’s Embassy Registration Web site.
  • Pack. GO! Learn. Share. Take great photos for the annual NMU International Programs photo contest, and…
  • Don’t forget to send a postcard to International Programs (1401 Presque Isle Avenue, Marquette, MI, 49855).

Students taking part in study abroad programs abroad must attend an orientation session. Check back here for a listing of upcoming orientation dates and times. 

The NMU Asset Management Office wants you to know and understand the following policies before you take your NMU leased mobile device abroad.    

Repairs and Theft Are Not Covered

Northern Michigan University’s insurance policy does not cover claims for repairs or theft that occur outside of North America.  Because of this, asset management recommends that students who take their mobile device out of the country purchase additional insurance in case of theft or damage.  Students or their parents may contact their insurance provider about adding the mobile device system to their existing coverage. Return of the mobile device may be an alternative if you are concerned for the safety of your mobile device while abroad. Please familiarize yourself with the mobile device repair policy before leaving the United States.


Students who have a leased mobile device issued and whose classes do not meet on NMU’s campus for the semester will be charged the rental fee for the mobile device.  Currently, the rental fee is $385 per semester.  Please return the mobile device before you leave campus to avoid being charged the rental fee for the mobile device while you are studying abroad.  Please go to

Eligibility for Mobile Device

You must be registered for NMU classes by the established deadline dates to be eligible to continue using the mobile device. The deadline date is always the day that grades are due, the Tuesday after fall and winter commencement.  Please make arrangements for someone to register for you if you will not be able to register yourself during pre-registration.  The collection process and late fees begin on the Wednesday following graduation.

Important Contacts

Please contact asset management at  OR  call 906-227-1422, 1256 or 2822 if you have any questions or concerns.

Important Information will be sent via NMU e-mail. Remember to check your NMU e-mail weekly.

A visa is an entry/residency permit and official permission granted by the authorities of the country(ies) where you will study or travel.  The visa outlines the terms of your permission to enter and remain in the country.  A visa is usually stamped in your passport, but in some cases may be a separate document.  Some countries will require a visa for student residency, others do not.  Visa requirements are individual to each country and are largely determined by treaty and are to some degree reciprocal.

To find out whether you need to apply for a student visa, you must contact the country’s embassy or its consulate in the United States.   The process requires your U.S. passport and may take some time, so start the application process EARLY.

The cost and requirements for obtaining a visa vary.  It is your responsibility to determine visa requirements for all countries you plan to visit, including those you plan to visit before and after your study abroad program.  You can consult with an authorized travel agent or check the following Web sites:

Visas are serious business.  You may be denied entry into, or be deported from, a country for which you have not obtained a required visa.  For some countries, certain medical requirements must be met before a visa is issued; many countries will not issue visas to persons with any type of police record.

International Programs and Northern Michigan University are in no way responsible for obtaining visas nor are they in any way responsible for visa denial.

NON-U.S. Citizens

If you are not a U.S. citizen, consult the embassy or consulate of the countries you will visit to learn their document requirements.  You may find the following Web sites useful:

The procedures you will follow may be different from those for U.S. citizens.  It is important to begin the process early in order to assemble documents and allow time for lengthy procedures.  International NMU students must visit International Programs to obtain a signature on visa documents which permit re-entry to the United States for continued studies at NMU.

Returning Study Abroad Students

Become a Peer Advisor! Contact us to learn about ways you can share your experience abroad with your fellow Wildcats!

NOTE: Once you complete an NMU worksheet or application, you can submit in-person to International Programs at 203 Cohodas Hall or via email at

NOTE: Each individual program has its own requirements and due dates. It is generally best to begin planning for an experience abroad 1-year out from the time of departure (sooner if possible) as there are many moving parts to arrange. NMU’s application to study abroad must be completed no matter which type of experience abroad you are taking part in, and is in addition to your individual program’s application requirements.